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Agricultural consulting and farm management training


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View information on this page:

  • Who is this training for?
  • What prior qualifications and experience are needed?
  • In what courses can you study the two units?
  • Who developed the units?
  • What are the costs?
  • What do the units include?
  • What does the course involve?
  • What is the admissions and enrolment process?


Who is this training for?

Two core units (subjects) are available at UNE that encompass agricultural consulting and farm management. These two units can be studied in a number of part-time, external courses.

These two units are for people who work, or plan to work, in farm management, agricultural consulting/extension/advisory roles or other jobs that require professional farm management knowledge.

It is applicable to ALL agricultural sectors (it is not about sheep).

This distance education course suits professionals already working.

What prior qualifications and experience are needed?

None are required to study the units (subjects), however, your qualifications and experience will determine the course in which you can be admitted. (Units/subjects can only be studied as part of a course).

In what courses can you study the two units?

If you already have a degree, you can study the units in:

  • Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting)
  • Masters in Agriculture
  • Other graduate level courses that allow you to choose these two subjects as electives

If you do NOT have a degree, you can study the units in:

  • Diploma in Agriculture (no entry requirements)
  • Bachelor of Rural Science, Bachelor of Agriculture, Bachelor of Livestock Science or similar degree course (all are subject to minimum entry requirements)

If you do NOT have a degree, BUT have a Diploma in Agriculture (or similar) PLUS extensive experience in agriculture:

  • You may be accepted directly into the Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting), OR
  • You may be permitted to upgrade to the graduate course after one semester in the Diploma of Agriculture course.

Both of these options will require you to complete the form below (Eligibility to study Agricultural Consulting units). Please discuss these options in advance with the Unit Coordinator, Rachelle Hergenhan.

DownloadEligibility to study Agricultural Consulting units (18 KB)

What are the costs?

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) dramatically reduce the cost for each unit (by more than half).

All undergraduate students will be eligible for Commonwealth Supported Places.

Post-graduate courses have limited CSPs available. CSPs are offered from trimester 1 each year. For the first time, in 2012, no CSPs were left for post-graduate course applications in July.

With this in mind, more people will apply at the beginning of the year (including those who did not proceed with study in trimester 2 due to the cost) and it is quite possible that CSPs could run out before all trimester 1 applications close.

Therefore, whether you want to start studying a post-graduate course in trimester 1 OR trimester 2, apply well before trimester 1 applications close if you want a Commonwealth Supported Place (apply as early in January as you can). You do not need to start your course straight away.

The following fees are for EACH unit (subject)

  • Full fee — $2738.00
  • Commonwealth Supported Place — $1076.00
  • Commonwealth Supported Place WITH upfront payment discount — $968.40

Please see UNE fee information for correct latest fee details.

Students who are not Australian citizens should also consult the UNE website for fee details.

HECS-HELP loans are also available.

What do the units include?

While the units were initially developed for agricultural consultants (and named accordingly), they are just as applicable for professional farm managers.

CSLT 401/501 Business skills for agricultural consultants
This unit has three modules with the first about strategy, strategic thinking, problem solving and the management of strategic change in the agribusiness context. It will enable you to prepare a strategic plan, business plan and marketing plan for farm businesses.

The second module equips the consultant or extension practitioner with an understanding of the media in Australia and skills to develop media releases and do radio interviews. These are most important for consultants and advisors, but also useful skills for farm managers.

Module three provides an overview of some of the legal issues that agricultural consultants are likely to face including legal liabilities, rights and responsibilities, employment performance and legal issues for clients. These are also useful for farm managers.
See more information.

CSLT 402/502 Client service skills for agricultural consultants
This unit provides two discrete modules for agricultural consultants to assist their clients’ businesses or for farm managers to run their own business. The first module covers Whole of Enterprise Planning, allowing the business to be viewed in an integrated manner including farm resources, production and finances.

The second module improves the skill of the consultant in dealing with their clients or farm managers dealing with staff and contractors, covering the essential tools of communication, facilitation and negotiation. Managers of corporate farms, those who take on industry leadership roles (e.g. in various committees) and those whose expertise sees them as invited speakers at events and field days, will find these skills particularly useful.
See more information.

What does the course involve?

For the Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting), please see the information below.

For all other courses, please click here to see UNE web site, courses and units section. After choosing a course use the tabs to view the course overview, further information and course rules and plans.

Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting)

This is a four-unit course; along with the two core units, two electives must also be taken. A wide range of units in technical, agri-business or other agricultural areas are available at UNE, enabling you to upgrade your knowledge and skills in areas most relevant to you.

Click here to view a selection of elective units. If what you are interested in is not here, please directly search for units on the UNE web site.

The course can be completed in a minimum of 1 year (as the core units are only offered in separate trimesters) or in a maximum of 2 years, by part-time study. (Should you need to extend past 2 years, it is imperative you seek approval in advance through the UNE student centre).

Both elective units can be completed through UNE (see list of some UNE elective units). With permission of the Course Coordinator, one of the electives may be done through another university. In special cases the Course Coordinator may also recognise advanced standing, that is previous experience or a previously completed subject may count for one elective (see advanced standing).

Some professionals may only want to do one or both core units and no further subjects. You still need to be admitted to a course, but you would simply withdraw after completing the desired units. An academic transcript is provided on completion, but no formal qualification is awarded.

Assessment for most units is carried out by a combination of assignments and a final supervised examination (held in locations near you).

The core units do NOT have residential schools. Most electives will have a residential school and some of these will be mandatory (view each unit on the UNE web site to find this information).

Who developed the units?

The Sheep CRC, through UNE, developed the two core units. While the Sheep CRC saw a need for specialist training for consultants in the sheep industry, the training did not need to be about sheep, instead this training is applicable to all agricultural sectors. It assumes that you gain your technical knowledge about one or more agricultural sectors from other study (such as a degree) and/or experience.

Consultants with specialist knowledge of the topic were contracted to develop the content of each module within the units.

Important dates

For Trimester 1, 2014:

Online teaching: 24 February 2014 – 30 May 2014

Exam period: 2 June 2014 – 16 June 2014

For Trimester 2, 2014:

Online teaching: 30 June 2014 – 3 October 2014

Exam period: 7 October 2014 – 20 October 2014

Other information

Student centre telephone: 1800 818 865 or 02 6773 4444.

AskUNE: Online help

UNE website:


What is the admissions and enrolment process?

You need to apply for and be admitted to a course. Once you have accepted, then you can enrol in a unit (subject).

Course admissions can be found here. Please note that CSPs may no longer be available if you leave your admission application until the closing date. Late admissions  may be accepted.

You must apply online.

Either use this link:

Or go to apply online.

Download this pdf for instructions on how to apply.

Can we help you? We encourage you to contact us to discuss your enrolment:

Unit Coordinator:
Rachelle Hergenhan
Ph: 0418 653 169

Sheep CRC Education Program Manager
Steve Walkden-Brown
Ph: 02 6773 5152

Audio - Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting)

Professor James Rowe (CEO of the Sheep CRC) talks about the benefits of the Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Agricultural Consulting) course.


David Sackett, former partner in Holmes Sackett Pty Ltd, talks about his experience in setting up the consultancy business and the benefits of having a Graduate Certificate course available.


Mike Stephens of Mike Stephens & Associates (MS&A) speaks about his diverse consultancy business. The approach MS&A uses includes awareness of "the business", "the paddock", "the people" and "the environment".